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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
thumb
I.noun
COLLOCATIONS FROM OTHER ENTRIES
jerking...thumb
▪ ‘Is that the only way out of here?’ he asked, jerking a thumb at the door.
thumb index
COLLOCATIONS FROM CORPUS
■ ADJECTIVE
green
▪ Instead, the friendly green thumbs at Tucson Botanical Gardens choose to throw open their gates for free.
▪ She can help just about anyone grow a green thumb.
▪ If you fetched the green, a thumb shot in the air.
left
▪ The F attachment can be switched in instantaneously by a valve operated by the left thumb.
▪ But Jones missed 11 games at the start of the season with a torn ligament in his left thumb.
right
▪ First those of the right thumb.
▪ Guard Malik Sealy had his fractured right thumb examined again and is expected to be out no more than two weeks.
▪ The only other thing I remember catching was my right thumb.
▪ As for the report, it says, in brief, that my right thumb and middle finger have been identified.
▪ Most fetuses sucked their right thumb, with only 5.4% preferring their left.
▪ Hussain's right thumb was broken by a rising delivery from Shoaib-the latest in a string of mishaps for him.
sore
▪ I mean, it sticks out like a sore thumb.
▪ For these reasons feminist values stand out like a sore thumb.
▪ We stand out like sore thumbs.
▪ There's no cover, and - as happened to me - any stranger sticks out like a sore thumb.
▪ The box at Marske-in-Swaledale, which turns its blank stainless steel back to the main road, is a particularly sore thumb.
▪ Having said that, in some of the bits of Shoreditch I passed through I stuck out like a sore thumb.
▪ You stick out like a sore thumb in that ghastly uniform, Charles.
■ VERB
break
▪ So he went at me, but I ducked and he hit the shelf - he broke his thumb in two places!
▪ While he and a niece were playing, Jones suffered a broken left thumb.
▪ Her bones were so fragile that she would break her thumb just by leaning on her walking stick.
▪ As long as I don't break my thumb.
fracture
▪ The day began with confirmation of what the Clippers already knew: Sealy has a fractured thumb.
▪ Guard Malik Sealy had his fractured right thumb examined again and is expected to be out no more than two weeks.
▪ All of this was without a completely healthy Travis Knight, who is slowly recovering from a fractured left thumb.
▪ Charles Oakley is out with a fractured thumb.
jerk
▪ He waved and grinned at her and jerked a thumb upwards.
▪ The doctor jerked a thumb to the right.
suck
▪ She was sucking her thumb so it came out very indistinctly.
▪ When she brought it, he was sitting at his typewriter, sucking his damaged thumb.
▪ Then he led her to his bed and let her sleep, childlike in her position as she sucked her thumb.
▪ Most fetuses sucked their right thumb, with only 5.4% preferring their left.
PHRASES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
be all fingers and thumbs
▪ She was all fingers and thumbs - and worry.
rule of thumb
▪ You should tip bellmen $1- $2 per bag, as a rule of thumb.
▪ A good rule of thumb is to think of 30k as around the upper limit for a page.
▪ As a rule of thumb, funds with durations of one to three years are relatively conservative.
▪ Business development professionals often rely on simple rules of thumb to sort potential relationships and weed out unlikely partners.
▪ In general, the rule of thumb was that one's peers were seconded to perform the role.
▪ It was a place, Wade came to understand, where lost was a rule of thumb.
▪ Journalists have a rule of thumb: the more a person knows, the more that person can learn.
▪ The rule of thumb no longer mattered.
▪ When constructing a footpath we follow rules of thumb.
stick/stand out like a sore thumb
▪ You can't come to the restaurant dressed in jeans. You'd stick out like a sore thumb.
▪ For these reasons feminist values stand out like a sore thumb.
▪ Having a whole batch together should make an odd one stick out like a sore thumb.
▪ Having said that, in some of the bits of Shoreditch I passed through I stuck out like a sore thumb.
▪ I mean, it sticks out like a sore thumb.
▪ There's no cover, and - as happened to me - any stranger sticks out like a sore thumb.
▪ We stand out like sore thumbs.
▪ You stick out like a sore thumb in that ghastly uniform, Charles.
twiddle your thumbs
▪ I sat there and twiddled my thumbs.
▪ The rest of us could just sit and twiddle our thumbs and drink iced coffee.
▪ Till then, its quarry sat twiddling his thumbs and not quite smirking.
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ As a rule of thumb, funds with durations of one to three years are relatively conservative.
▪ But it was plainly calculated as a thumb in the eye of the United States.
▪ I sat there and twiddled my thumbs.
▪ She put the mustache back and pressed it with her thumb.
▪ The third had a grotesquely enlarged thumb.
▪ Then he looked at Bill Wall, extending his hand with finger and thumb crooked.
▪ When constructing a footpath we follow rules of thumb.
II.verb
COLLOCATIONS FROM CORPUS
■ ADVERB
through
▪ Without thumbing through Who's Who?, he's now agreed to read four better-known celebrity faces.
▪ As a joke I actually bought it for Richard to thumb through.
■ NOUN
lift
▪ You try to thumb a lift from the cars as they approach from either direction, sweeping you with their headlights.
▪ Luke Bouverie missed the last bus out of Woodborough to Loxford, so he thumbed a lift.
▪ Two or three cars passed me and I tried to thumb a lift, but they didn't stop.
nose
▪ So long as he had the support of Sir Rufus Stone, he could thumb his nose at Cotton.
▪ Voters here have always been drawn to against-the-grain outsiders who make a career of thumbing their noses at party traditionalists.
▪ Judges who thumb their noses at presidents are thought to be good for democracy.
▪ Faubus had again thumbed his nose at the judiciary by refusing to appear.
▪ The way she slept on her side, thumb up against her nose.
▪ Voters have thumbed their noses at it.
▪ The protestors were denigrating the primary symbol of the ordained ministry, they claimed, and thumbing their noses at the Church.
page
▪ But just thumbing through the pages will always be a delightful task.
▪ Do you know how many subscription cards can fall out of a magazine as you thumb through 10 pages?
▪ Gloria lay on the bed and thumbed through the pages of her magazine.
▪ In order to find them, I have merely thumbed through the pages of recent editions of Hansard.
PHRASES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
be all fingers and thumbs
▪ She was all fingers and thumbs - and worry.
rule of thumb
▪ You should tip bellmen $1- $2 per bag, as a rule of thumb.
▪ A good rule of thumb is to think of 30k as around the upper limit for a page.
▪ As a rule of thumb, funds with durations of one to three years are relatively conservative.
▪ Business development professionals often rely on simple rules of thumb to sort potential relationships and weed out unlikely partners.
▪ In general, the rule of thumb was that one's peers were seconded to perform the role.
▪ It was a place, Wade came to understand, where lost was a rule of thumb.
▪ Journalists have a rule of thumb: the more a person knows, the more that person can learn.
▪ The rule of thumb no longer mattered.
▪ When constructing a footpath we follow rules of thumb.
stick/stand out like a sore thumb
▪ You can't come to the restaurant dressed in jeans. You'd stick out like a sore thumb.
▪ For these reasons feminist values stand out like a sore thumb.
▪ Having a whole batch together should make an odd one stick out like a sore thumb.
▪ Having said that, in some of the bits of Shoreditch I passed through I stuck out like a sore thumb.
▪ I mean, it sticks out like a sore thumb.
▪ There's no cover, and - as happened to me - any stranger sticks out like a sore thumb.
▪ We stand out like sore thumbs.
▪ You stick out like a sore thumb in that ghastly uniform, Charles.
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ As a joke I actually bought it for Richard to thumb through.
▪ Faubus had again thumbed his nose at the judiciary by refusing to appear.
▪ Once again Azadi thumbed through the intelligence report for some inspiration.
▪ She thumbed them into the magazine before placing it carefully back in the box with the weapon.
▪ Two or three cars passed me and I tried to thumb a lift, but they didn't stop.
▪ Voters here have always been drawn to against-the-grain outsiders who make a career of thumbing their noses at party traditionalists.
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Thumb

Thumb \Thumb\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Thumbed; p. pr. & vb. n. Thumbing.]

  1. To handle awkwardly.
    --Johnson.

  2. To play with the thumbs, or with the thumbs and fingers; as, to thumb over a tune.

  3. To soil or wear with the thumb or the fingers; to soil, or wear out, by frequent handling; also, to cover with the thumb; as, to thumb the touch-hole of a cannon.

    He gravely informed the enemy that all his cards had been thumbed to pieces, and begged them to let him have a few more packs.
    --Macaulay.

Thumb

Thumb \Thumb\, n. [OE. thombe, thoumbe, [thorn]ume, AS. [thorn][=u]ma; akin to OFries. th[=u]ma, D. duim, G. daumen, OHG. d[=u]mo, Icel. [thorn]umall, Dan. tommelfinger, Sw. tumme, and perhaps to L. tumere to swell. [root]56. Cf. Thimble, Tumid.] The short, thick first digit of the human hand, differing from the other fingers in having but two phalanges; the pollex. See Pollex. Upon his thumb he had of gold a ring. --Chaucer. Thumb band, a twist of anything as thick as the thumb. --Mortimer. Thumb blue, indigo in the form of small balls or lumps, used by washerwomen to blue linen, and the like. Thumb latch, a door latch having a lever formed to be pressed by the thumb. Thumb mark.

  1. The mark left by the impression of a thumb, as on the leaves of a book.
    --Longfellow.

  2. The dark spot over each foot in finely bred black and tan terriers. Thumb nut, a nut for a screw, having wings to grasp between the thumb and fingers in turning it; also, a nut with a knurled rim for the same perpose. Thumb ring, a ring worn on the thumb. --Shak. Thumb stall.

    1. A kind of thimble or ferrule of iron, or leather, for protecting the thumb in making sails, and in other work.

    2. (Mil.) A buckskin cushion worn on the thumb, and used to close the vent of a cannon while it is sponged, or loaded.

      Under one's thumb, completely under one's power or influence; in a condition of subservience. [Colloq.]

Thumb

Thumb \Thumb\, v. i. To play with the thumb or thumbs; to play clumsily; to thrum.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
thumb

Old English þuma, from Proto-Germanic *thumon- (cognates: Old Frisian thuma, Old Saxon, Old High German thumo, German Daumen, Dutch duim "thumb," Old Norse þumall "thumb of a glove"), literally "the stout or thick (finger)," from PIE *tum- "swell," from root *teue- (2) "to swell" (see thigh). For spelling with -b (attested from late 13c.), see limb.\n\nIn some of the IE languages there is a single word for "thumb," which is called the "big finger," like NE big toe. Many of the single words are of similar semantic origin, based on the notion of "stout, thick."

[Buck]

\nCompare Greek megas daktylos "thumb," but Greek also had antikheir, literally "what is opposite the fingers." Italian pollice, French pouce are from Latin pollex, perhaps formed (on analogy of index) from pollere "to be strong."\n

\nTo be under (someone's) thumb "be totally controlled by that person" is recorded from 1580s. Thumbs up (1887) and thumbs down (1906) were said to be from expressions of approval or the opposite in ancient amphitheaters, especially gladiator shows, where the gesture decided whether a defeated combatant was spared or slain. But the Roman gesture was merely one of hiding the thumb in the hand or extending it. Perhaps the modern gesture is from the usual coachmen's way of greeting while the hands are occupied with the reins.
thumb

"to go through" (especially of printed material), 1930, from thumb (n.), though the related sense of "soil or wear by handling" dates from 1640s. Earlier as a verb it meant "to play (a musical instrument) with the thumb" (1590s). Meaning "to hitchhike" is 1939; originally the thumb pointed in the direction one wished to travel. Related: Thumbed; thumbing. To thumb (one's) nose as an expression of derision is recorded from 1903.

Wiktionary
thumb

n. 1 The short thick digit of the hand that for humans has the most mobility and can be made to oppose (moved to touch) all of the other fingers. 2 (context computing English) The part of a slider that may be moved linearly along the slider. 3 (context colloquial Internet English) A thumbnail picture. vb. 1 (context transitive English) To touch or cover with the thumb. 2 (context transitive with '''through''' English) To turn the pages of (a book) in order to read it cursorily. 3 (context travel English) To hitchhike 4 To soil or wear with the thumb or the fingers; to soil, or wear out, by frequent handling.

WordNet
thumb
  1. v. travel by getting free rides from motorists [syn: hitchhike, hitch]

  2. look through a book or other written material; "He thumbed through the report"; "She leafed through the volume" [syn: flick, flip, riffle, leaf, riff]

  3. feel or handle with the fingers; "finger the binding of the book" [syn: finger]

thumb
  1. n. the thick short innermost digit of the forelimb [syn: pollex]

  2. the part of a glove that provides a covering for the thumb

  3. a convex molding having a cross section in the form of a quarter of a circle or of an ellipse [syn: ovolo, quarter round]

Wikipedia
Thumb

The thumb is the first digit of the hand. When a person is standing in the medical anatomical position (where the palm is facing to the front), the thumb is the outermost digit. The Medical Latin English noun for thumb is pollex (compare hallux for big toe), and the corresponding adjective for thumb is pollical.

Thumb (band)

Thumb was a German alternative metal/ nu metal band formed in November 1993 in Gütersloh. The group disbanded in 2005 to work on various side projects; Steffen has joined H-Blockx, Jens is in Taetowier Studio, Jan-Hendrik is in Hudson, Claus is in Alternative Allstars and Axel is in Waterdown.

Thumb (disambiguation)

The thumb is the first digit of the human hand.

Thumb may also refer to:

Usage examples of "thumb".

He always knew if someone was absent, but the rule of thumb was that unless he was asked a direct question he would not volunteer this information and therefore would not have to lie or turn the absentee in.

With the heel of his palm on the underside, he flicked a callused thumb back and forth across the pebbled tip until her breast felt heavy and ached for some fulfillment she could not understand.

When Alec could do the catch with either hand, Seregil had him try it using only his thumb and forefinger, and finally to perform the trick with his eyes shut.

He massaged his thumb against her already hard nipple, and Amelle shivered.

While Alfred held her legs, George wiped the perineum clean, found the asterisk and pressed it firmly with the ball of his thumb, holding while he counted slowly to ten.

I only knew of Asye as a name to curse by when I stabbed my thumb, cutting a quill.

When he slid his thumb back and forth across the smooth leather, he felt not what was there but what might soon be available for his caress: delicately shaped ridges of cartilage forming the auricula and pinna, the graceful curves of the channels that focused sound waves inward toward the tympanic membrane.

Amery was leaning back against her shoulder, watching Baldric with wide eyes, giving his thumb a thorough workout.

He handed the notebook over to Becker, who thumbed through it briefly and then placed it inside his briefcase.

Clipping the beeper safely to his belt, Nathan presses thumb and forefinger, his messages flying off to wherever they fly, to message heaven, the graveyard of electronically snubbed pleas and particles of undesired need.

She took his right hand, noting how squared off and hard his hands were, even with three distinct and bendable fingers and a fairly prehensile thumb, then felt back to the wrist.

He looked out to the blue sierras to the south and he hitched up the shoulder strap of his overalls and sat with his thumb hooked in the bib and turned and looked at them.

Tram Bir, who was supervising the placement of the tents, stopped them and said something, jerking his thumb toward the caravan.

Along with Baybrock, Sanders, Jenney and Demble, Bleer would be a fine plum for the kidnap pudding that Thumb Gaudrey intended to cook.

She went now to the chimney corner, and applied her eye to a well-known crack: Margaret sat beside her father on a stool, and Boshy stood facing them and herself, his left arm extended, his thumb holding down the two middle fingers.